Friday, May 16, 2014

From the IOS Mailbag

By Brian Kopack


I would like to discuss some ideas on how best to proceed with my current situation.  

In my new position, I am responsible for managing our aging information management system.  The system is old and its functionality is limited.  To keep up with the information needs of our department managers, we have been forced to create several manual workarounds to compensate for our system’s restrictions.  We have to retain hardware and technicians specifically dedicated to maintaining the system.

I know we need to do something, but I need some direction on how to do the analysis to prove it. 

Any help you can provide would be most appreciated.

By the way, I enjoyed watching your videos.  

I chose to respond to this question publicly because we get some flavor of it all the time.  Technology is constantly advancing and the information needs of businesses are increasing dramatically.  Budgets are tight and time to squeeze in another project is scarce.  Put all of that together and it is easy to understand how companies get frustrated.

If you are considering upgrading / replacing the current system, I think you need to know exactly how much it really costs to operate in the current environment.  The real cost is more than whatever software licensing fees you pay.  The older the system, the more your business is leaking time and money.

Maintaining a legacy system can be expensive.  You might be in a “high rent low living” situation because to keep your current system going you need to maintain hardware and compatible, older-version software.

You might be employing extra employees to muscle through tasks you can’t automate.

You are probably spending time reviewing / auditing / correcting information that you can’t control within the software – again, maybe with more additional employees.

And, depending how integrated the systems within your business are, rewriting links to the disparate programs every time anything is upgraded or patched or replaced can vary between expensive and really expensive.

If you look at it honestly, I think you will find you aren’t getting any real value for your effort.

A new system might come with a healthy price tag, but when you consider the total cost of ownership for your current (old) system, there isn’t really a comparison.

One last thing – I think the videos are pretty great too.

Go ahead, give us your biggest problem.

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